. >> reporter: now funded by a small tax on all phone bills you can see it on yours, the program has exploded with companies advertising free phones, many of which come with more than 250 minutes of time, far more than needed for emergencies obviously. those supporters argue some need phones to find a job but the fcc told congress the top five providers can not verify the eligibility of 41% of those who get the phones. listen. >> i hear from law enforcement that these phones are often found at crime scenes and are used in drug deals. why? because you can't trace them. >> just handing out phones willy-nilly and allowing them to be sold on the black market, this isn't the way to do it and we need to stop. >> reporter: now some recipients famously called them obama phones. there is one supporter who boasted to media during the election that all minorities should support the president because he gave them free cell phones. some now propose expanding the free phone service to broadband but mccaskill says the current program is so far out of control we should scrap it and start over, not expand it.